An Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy (PAF 101)

PAF 101 fulfills a social sciences and a critical reflections requirement for the Syracuse University arts and sciences core. It is also required for all policy studies majors. It helps students learn how to do good as a citizen and to do well in their personal lives. It develops the research skills they will use throughout college and the rest of their lives.

By the end of this course, students will improve 10 basic skill sets:

  1. Taking responsibility
  2. Developing physical skills
  3. Communicating verbally
  4. Communicating in Writing
  5. Working directly with people
  6. Influencing people
  7. Gathering information
  8. Using quantitative tools
  9. Asking and answering the right questions

Required Text

  • “The Maxwell Manual for Good Citizenship: Public Policy Skills in Action” by Bill Coplin
  • Downloaded course exercises and other materials from
  • Recommended: “10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College (Revised Edition)” by Bill Coplin

Course Format and Procedures

PAF 101 is divided into five parts. For each part, students will submit a module paper. The papers consist of exercises they download from the PAF 101 website ( and click on “download modules link.”) Each module must be typed in the correct format. Absences, tardiness or poor participation in class will result in deductions from a student’s module grades. Class time will be used for lectures, outside speakers and group exercises.

The PAF 101 website contains critical information. Students will need to download sections to bring to class and to use in completing their assignments. Newsletters for each module and lecture slides for each class will be posted as the course progresses.

Grading Procedures

Students can obtain a total of 700 points by handing in perfect papers on time, participating in all classes and completing the community experience.

Exercise: Point Value

Module 1 (Exercises 1): 135 points

Module 2 (Exercises 2-4): 155 points

Module 3 (Exercises 5, 6): 140 points

Module 4 (Exercises 7, 8): 130 points

Module 5 (Exercises 9, 10, 11.1): 140 points

Student and Parent Resources

Teacher assistant office hours, extra credit speaker forms, community service opportunities, research help and advice on how to get an A on papers are all available on the class website (